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junkpole fence: freaky cheap chicken/deer fence made from wood typically thrown away

 
master pollinator
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That hugelkultur gateway is amazing!
 
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The Swedes really have a better design. Evan's fence might stop a Buffalo, but who keeps them in pens? The Swedish version only uses 25% as much wood.
 
Tyler Ludens
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What is the Swedish version?

 
Milo Jones
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The video posted by Victor, later embedded by Jocelyn. The bottom link here, cut and paste and select the top result.

Victor Johanson wrote:Interesting--reminiscent of traditional Scandinavian roundpole fences, about which I just learned. They're called gärdesgård in Sweden, and are built from spruce poles, peeled or unpeeled. The posts consist of a pair of sharpened poles that are charred to inhibit decay; they're only driven a little way into the ground, the weight of the fence keeping it all in place. One cool thing about them is that the traditional method requires no fasteners--the poles are held up by green fir or juniper boughs that are twisted and wrapped around the post pairs. Apparently they've been used for hundreds of years over there, and they can also be very attractive. Check it out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundpole_fence
https://www.google.com/search?q=G%C3%84RDESG%C3%85RD&safe=off&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=G%C3%84RDESG%C3%85RD[/youtube]

 
Tyler Ludens
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Is it a better design because it takes less wood? Or is it a better design because it is easier to make? I guess I wonder what makes it "better."

 
Milo Jones
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I think it is better because it takes less wood. Fewer trees to grow and cut. Most fences are psychological anyway, in a healthy system. If your predator load is high you might have to add some strength or electricity, but for keeping goats in you can have some 6" gaps in the rails.
 
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I've been making similar fences for a few years, based on fences I have seen elsewhere. The main difference I made was short (6 inch) bars between the pairs of uprights, kind of like a ladder, to stop the horizontal poles sliding up and down. Also, anything going in the ground must be hardwood (a kind which won't rot). You may be able to put shortish hardwood posts in the ground and then attach longer conifer uprights to them. I've seen some people use peeled, charred conifer for the stakes going into the ground, but they still don't last long enough to make the effort worthwhile IMO. You can peel the horizontal poles to make them last longer, but if you have a big steady supply of them, you may decide not to bother and just replace them as they rot after 3 or 4 years and use the old ones for firewood after a few years.

The main thing to think about is "what will happen if/when part of this fence rots/breaks, and how often is this likely to happen?". The greatest advantage of this kind of fence is that most of the poles can be removed and replaced easily if/when they break, but beware of using too many nails and make integral parts of the fence, such as gates, corner posts etc. as strong as possible, but also repairable. Basically you don't want to find yourself rebuilding the entire fence because a small part of it has broken

You can also open up any section of the fence easily if you want access or decide to make a new gate

 
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Wow! Things are getting more and more beautiful out there! I love Kai's gate several posts up, and I love how he's got some of the junk poles fanning out crosswise against the background fence.
 
Julia Winter
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paul wheaton wrote:An improved gate:



This.

This is gorgeous.
 
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The video of swedish traditional fencing was great to watch.
Most of what he was teaching was made clear in another's post.
He also says to be sure that the lengths of the cross posts are all equal lengths.
There are different names for those that are only a few vertical posts long and another for those fences spanning many.
He does specify the heat creating the flexibility. Heat the thicker end first and most.
He chars the ends of the posts to help them last longer in the ground.
Put the posts in the ground with the cut side of the post facing each other so when it's bound it has the desired torque.
I'll review the film again to see if I missed anything that hasn't already been covered.
I've seen these mostly in museums in Sweden. They are beautiful!
I appreciated seeing a tutorial.
If anyone has questions about what he is saying, I may be able to help out.
 
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Some of Kai's other recent gate designs ... photos by evan ...

beautiful-wood-fence-gate.jpg
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wood-deer-fence-gate.jpg
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wood-fence-gate.jpg
[Thumbnail for wood-fence-gate.jpg]
 
Julia Winter
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These are all wonderful - thanks for sharing!
 
pollinator
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A friend of mine will be cutting a lot of bamboo at his property. I hope to try junkpole fencing with bamboo soon.
junkpolefence01_pic01.jpg
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junkpole fence pic01
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junkpole fence pic02
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junkpole fence pic03
 
Davin Hoyt
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More imagery for whomever may benefit.
junkpolefence01_pic04.jpg
[Thumbnail for junkpolefence01_pic04.jpg]
junkpole fence pic04
junkpolefence01_pic05.jpg
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junkpole fence pic05
junkpolefence01_pic06.jpg
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junkpole fence pic06
 
paul wheaton
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Kai built this gate using my new hing design.  He says the new hinge design was easy to build and is working great!

big-wooden-gate-hinge.jpg
[Thumbnail for big-wooden-gate-hinge.jpg]
big-wooden-gate-hinge-bottom.jpg
[Thumbnail for big-wooden-gate-hinge-bottom.jpg]
 
Julia Winter
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That is SUCH a beautiful gate!
 
Davin Hoyt
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paul wheaton wrote:Kai built this gate using my new hing design.  He says the new hinge design was easy to build and is working great!



Oh Duke, Is that a stone with a cone top?
 
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Having just had the deer in my orchard again, I am def going to be building one of these.
Will probably have to buy in some chestnut stakes from the neighbour as I don't think I'll be able to produce sufficient poles myself but I like the idea and still be able to let in enough light for the trees.
 
paul wheaton
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Davin Hoyt wrote:Oh Duke, Is that a stone with a cone top?



I'm gonna hafta take a close look the next time i'm up there.  

Here is the idea I presented:

 
Abbey Battle
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This thread has been a great source of inspiration. I hated erecting the wire fence around my orchard. I just did not enjoy the process and struggled to get it right.
However, using the idea of a junk pole fence is far more creative and a process that I can enjoy. I don't really have a wealth of timber but I do have some and load of bamboo that I can use.
I don't have to do anything clever, just stretch my imagination.
Another way permaculture has provided inspiration.

Now I have a ready made trellis to grow something up against next year.
 
paul wheaton
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I love this idea. I can see doing the east, south and west sides of the growing areas in wire fence, and then doing all of the north sides with the junk pole fence.

I also like the idea mentioned earlier about building the fence, and then planting your hedgerow plants to eventually take over when the fence rots and falls apart. Brilliant. This could also work for the food forest areas that I want to plant, but can't afford to fence off from the marauding deer: build the fence cheap, and then plant all along the inside of the fence with the 'living fence' stuff, and it will take over once the junk pole fence falls apart.

Love it!
 
paul wheaton
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Evan posted some new pics here:  https://permies.com/t/960/45960/evan-ant-village-log#533056

First, take a look at the gate hinges.   Total materials cost of gate:  $0.00.   Total number of screws and metal: zero.   Total number of power tools used:  zero.

Here is the gate:




A closeup of the top part of the hinge:




A closeup of the bottom part of the hinge:




 
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Looking forward to using some of these methods on our plot.  Thanks for the pictures and detailed instructions!
 
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You mean like this? I came across these gates while backpacking in the Rio Azul Reserve in Argentina two months ago. They were typical in remote areas because they could be built with hand tools or a chainsaw from roundwood. The bottom "pin" is fitted into a larger diameter round with a carved hole.
Do the pictures show up?




 
paul wheaton
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Jerry, I tried to fix your page, but it turns out that your image host is one of those where they do not want you to embed your images somewhere else.  So I hope you don't mind, I am doing a bunch of stuff to wrangle the image so we can see it.

wooden-gate.png
[Thumbnail for wooden-gate.png]
wood gate with awesome wood hinge
 
paul wheaton
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The wood hinge at the top is excellent!

But the wood hinge at the bottom ...  i think that water will accumulate in the cup.
wood-gate-hinge-top.png
[Thumbnail for wood-gate-hinge-top.png]
wood gate closeup of wood hinge at top
wood-gate-hinge-bottom.png
[Thumbnail for wood-gate-hinge-bottom.png]
wood gate closeup of wood hinge at bottom
 
Jerry McIntire
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paul wheaton wrote:Jerry, I tried to fix your page, but it turns out that your image host is one of those where they do not want you to embed your images somewhere else.  So I hope you don't mind, I am doing a bunch of stuff to wrangle the image so we can see it.


Thanks Paul, sorry to make it difficult. So G**gle is not playing nice. Suggestions for where I should host pictures so they will appear easily?
 
Jerry McIntire
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paul wheaton wrote:The wood hinge at the top is excellent!

But the wood hinge at the bottom ...  i think that water will accumulate in the cup.



A matter of appropriateness for the location. This is the east side of the Andes, which is as dry as the east side of the Cascades.
 
paul wheaton
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I simply attached them here.  

I know that more and more people are using imgur.

 
Jerry McIntire
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One more Andean gate (This one is on imgur, why no workee?)
 
paul wheaton
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Jerry McIntire wrote:(This one is on imgur, why no workee?)



The page that holds the image is https://i.imgur.com/JnX94Ho

The image, alone, is https://i.imgur.com/JnX94Ho.jpg

I hope you don't mind, i fixed your post.

 
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I recently came across another Swedish fence design that I think looks very promising.  It uses a three horizontal rail system, with the rails tied in place using twisted wythes, as in other Swedish fence designs.  Then, you weave branches vertically, as if making wattle, but turned to vertical orientation. With the branches woven through the three rails, alternating in direction, you get a top with "spikes" facing in opposite directions.  

This system doesn't use any metal fasteners, it's pretty darn tight and the top is wide and makes it challenging to jump or climb.

We will be trying it when we get onto our property, hopefully in the next month.
 
Jerry McIntire
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paul wheaton wrote:

I hope you don't mind, i fixed your post.



Mind? No. Thanks again. I looked for a help page on posting images but didn't find anything. Now I should have it.
 
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Jerry McIntire wrote:One more Andean gate (This one is on imgur, why no workee?)



There is something about that particular gate that might not be obvious. The slats of the gate are level, but the top of the hinge is angled in towards the opening. When opening that gate it must be pushed 'uphill' slightly. This means when you let go of it that it closes itself. This function may or may not be desirable depending on the situation. You could also angle the top of the hinge away from the opening for a gate that stays open until it is manually shut. Just something to think about if you are building something similar.
 
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Oh Duke, Is that a stone with a cone top?



I wish I had those stone cutting skills! The bottom hinge piece is a forked tree that I hunted around for. I think that Paul's original idea was better in that a whole log would span the bottom and a single branch point would be the hinge because then there wouldn't be a big gap at the bottom of the gate. However, it's strangely difficult to find a strait tree here that also has branches thick enough to support a gate. So I used a fork.

Jerry McIntire

Those Andean gates are awesome! I agree with Paul that water pooling in the hinge would not be ideal but I suppose it's an easy fix if the hole is at the bottom of the gate instead of in a log on the ground. Thanks for the pictures! I wish there were more examples of this kind of thing!

Peter Ellis
I recently came across another Swedish fence design that I think looks very promising

I'd really like to see pictures or a link to where ya found this! Thanks!

I also tried the figure eight Swedish ties on a large portion of fence and it worked really well!

I have a lot to say on junk pole fencing so I've started some posts on my thread about it. I hope to be posting pictures and some basics on how I built them later on. My Belated Posts







IMG_20170306_111539.jpg
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Swedish ties with Douglas Fir Saplings
 
Jerry McIntire
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The slats of the gate are level, but the top of the hinge is angled in towards the opening. When opening that gate it must be pushed 'uphill' slightly. This means when you let go of it that it closes itself. This function may or may not be desirable depending on the situation. You could also angle the top of the hinge away from the opening for a gate that stays open until it is manually shut. Just something to think about if you are building something similar.

Indeed, the gate closes itself. The gate is half a kilometer from the refugio and campsites. This way the owner doesn't have to check the gate after every tired backpacker passes through it, and his horses stay inside.
 
Kai Duby
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The Andean hinge design inspired another gate. There's no metal in this one. I mortise and tenoned the cross pieces to the verticals and intend to weave saplings in between.

Instead of making a bowl in a log at ground level I tapered the end of a log into a point that rests in the augured portion of the vertical hinge piece.

The strangest portion is the top of the hinge that connects to the fence. In past gates I have just tenoned this part onto the in -ground post but there wasn't enough room so I tried dowels. They're working for now but I'll need to adjust them later on.

This took about 2-3 hrs not including the material gathering, which I had on hand.
IMG_20170309_141321.jpg
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Top portion of hinge
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Bottom portion
IMG_20170309_143451.jpg
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Nearly finished gate just needs wattle
 
Tracy Wandling
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Kai, I am inspired! I'm eyeing up the entry to my garden, which is in need of a gate, with this design in mind. Thank you for sharing!
 
paul wheaton
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Lots and lots of this all winter and spring around here.   The wood is considered "slash" and it gets burned.  This is considered "best" and "standard".   I like the idea of using that wood for junk pole fence, hugelkultur, berm sheds, mulch, rocket mass heater fuel ....  all sorts of stuff instead of burning it like this.   Of course, the first step is to demonstrate the alternative uses.
junkpole-burn-brush.jpg
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burning slash instead of using the junkpole and woody bits for other stuff
 
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